World indoor mile leader Cheserek rejects chance to represent Kenya

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-13 20:57:46|Editor: Jiaxin
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NAIROBI, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- World leading runner in indoor mile distance Edward Cheserek of Kenya said he has no intention of competing for his country and will buy his time to get approval to represent USA at global championships.

Cheserek, who competed at a high level last weekend over the mile and in the 3,000m, become only the fourth person to run under three minutes and 50 seconds in the mile distance under indoor conditions.

On Friday, the Kenyan posted the second-fastest indoor time in history by clocking 3:49.44 to win the mile race in Boston.

But with the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham City just two weeks away, Cheserek ruled himself out of contention for his Kenyan team. "I have no intention of representing Kenya in international competition," he said on Tuesday.

This comes despite the fact that the IAAF has temporarily frozen changes of allegiance, which means he cannot qualify to represent USA this year at any competition.

Arguably, he is the best middle distance athlete in the world right now and he won't be on the field of play at the IAAF World Indoor Championships next month.

"Running for Kenya is not a priority for me and I want to run for USA in future," he added.

The U.S.-based Kenyan had won two mile races already this indoor season, but neither one of those were in ideal conditions.

The first, a 3:54.73 clocking, was set at altitude in Albuquerque. His second, a 3:53.85 victory in Winston-Salem, was achieved on a flat 200m track.

Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj, who holds the world indoor record at 3:48.45, is the only man in history with a faster indoor mile performance.

Cheserek also smashed his own Kenyan record of 3:52.01 which he set last year. Aside from El Guerrouj and Cheserek, only two other men - Ireland's Eamonn Coghlan and USA's Bernard Lagat - have ever bested 3:50 indoors.

"Congratulations to Cheserek. That was an extraordinary performance and I advise you to focus only on the 1500m and the mile distance," said El Guerrouj in a message.